Thursday, January 19, 2012
Chicago.com launches @Chicago email identity product with BuiltinChicago
Dear BuiltinChicago Members:
We are excited to launch Chicago.com's first ever digital product. It's a privilege to be able to give BuiltInChicago.org members a first look at our @Chicago identity product, available at http://identity.chicago.com with access code: builtinchicago. The site will be open for registration seven days, then we will close it down for a couple months to retool.
We call it an "email identity" product as distinct from "email" or "email services," as our product focuses purely on the identity layer within email-- enabling, for example, somebody with an email such as email@example.com to own firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com without having to change your existing email provider. @Chicago is agnostic as far as underlying email provider and integrates seamlessly with Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Live.com, Outlook as well as iPhone and iPad native mail apps. Nearly everything to the left of the @Chicago.com is available.
Additionally, we treat @Chicago.com email addresses like domain names-- discrete, liquid digital assets that have a market value based upon a supply/demand curve we have been mapping out the last year. Every identity is a unique item, and the marketing value of a simple, brandable, permanent and portable online identity is valuable. Prices range from an average cost of $55/year to several thousand $, depending on a name's demand, liquidity, length and other variables (e.g., special pricing for Non-Profits).
We will be launching a secondary market for the identities in April of this year, similar to a Sedo.com or Afternic. Ammar Kubba, founder of Aftermarket.com, is the main investor in our technology.
This is the first real "product" in Chicago.com's ten years, and the amount of support and feedback we have received over the past nine months has been tremendous.
Special thanks to Anthony Buglio, who, if it weren't for him turning down an offer for $1,000 for firstname.lastname@example.org at a time in Chicago.com's history when we really could have used the cash, this entire product may not have happened. Tony's simple refusal to sell the name for less than several thousand dollars paved the initial road to this product, and opened our eyes to the value of these identities.
Double Gold Star Super Thanks to: Howard Tullman, JB Pritzker, Matt Moog, Peter Fox, David Flando, Kevin Helliker, Keith Amonlirdviman, Sam Benediktson, Thomas & Dana Johnson, Chris McAvoy, Sean Miller of NYC.com, Jim Warren of the NYTimes, Dan Pulcrano, Ammar Kubba, Andrew Mason (for the Axure.com suggestion...), Yuval Degani, Daniel Marks, David Ormesher, Adam Hecktmam, Pete Georgiadis, Erhard Chorle, Phil, Noah, Igor & Jeff @ Doejo, and my board of directors, Karl & Mike. Oh :) and Vujadin, Lindsey & Kelly @ Chicago.com!!
Gold Star Thanks to our team of tech advisors as well:
https://identity.chicago.com/pages/tech. Each and every one of these individuals has had some effect, some input into this product and the direction we are taking it.
Chicago's software ecosystem is thriving, and over the next several years we plan on developing, from the ground up, a new website worthy of carrying the name of one of the truly great cities of the world, Chicago.
Official press release: http://bit.ly/z1n0Uj
Product feedback, + or -, is welcome directly to email@example.com or our staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chairman & CEO
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